A variational approach to optimal route location
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis describes the methods and results of an investigation into the applicability and usefulness of a variational approach to the determination of an optimal route location. The utilization of extremal field (dynamic programming) and variational calculus procedures for optimising staged systems, described by non-linear difference equations, is discussed. The route location problem is then formulated in such a manner that these two methods can be employed during the process of solving this problem, and a complex cost function for a road is derived, a present worth approach being used. A variational approach involving the utilization of the extremal field procedure (to search a broad region and produce bands of interest) and the variational calculus procedure (to explore a band of interest and generate location bands) is formulated. The application of this variational approach to a real road re-alignment problem is described and the results are compared with those obtained independently via a traditional computer-aided approach. The worth of the proposed variational approach is then assessed.